Sometimes we feel like dragging the food processor out of the closet and making homemade pesto from scratch. (Like, once a year, tops.) But most of the time, let’s face it: we want to sit on the couch and let a jar do the work for us. Here are five worthy canned versions of the green stuff that you can grab at the grocery store. We’ll take ours with a heaping bowl of pasta, please.
The 5 Best Pestos You Can Buy at the Grocery Store
Favorite “alt” Pesto: Trader Joe’s Pesto And Quinoa
This crunchy, nutty option is made with olive oil and shelf-stable. What really sets it apart is the addition of quinoa—leave it to our always-loyal Joe to give us a pesto that’s just interesting enough, but not too crazy. All that, and it only sets you back three bucks.
Buy it ($3)
If You Want Something Classic: Biutoni Pesto With Basil
Our most traditional go-to is somewhat creamier than typical pesto, which we can all agree is a very good thing. Its mild basil taste is not overwhelming but still flavorful enough to go with your favorite pasta shape or on top of a simple chicken dish.
If You’re Feeling Healthy(-ish): Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew And Basil Pesto
Don’t be fooled by the lack of cheese: This vegan pesto packs a creamy punch, thanks to the addition of cashews. We also love the combination of kale and basil: It’s lemony, bright and (dare we say?) almost indistinguishable from homemade.
Favorite Splurge: Eataly Basil Genovese Pesto
If you’re feeling fancy, you can’t go wrong with this option from Italian superstore Eataly. It boasts both pine nuts and walnuts, as well as a blend of Pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses. Swoon. For a special occasion, we think it’s well worth the extra few bucks.
Buy it ($11)
Best Value: Kirkland Signature Imported Basil Pesto
If you’re looking for a pantry staple that won’t run your wallet dry, reach for Costco’s budget-friendly (and really damn tasty) pesto. It has the perfect blend of garlic, cheese and sea salt. It’s also only $8 for a 22-ounce jar, so you can keep some stashed in the freezer for the busiest evenings.